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Shelley Ross Saxer

Laure Sudreau Endowed Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law


While in law school, Professor Saxer served as the chief managing editor of the UCLA Law Review. Upon graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr. of the Federal District Court for the Central District of California and then worked briefly as a corporate associate for the Century City law offices of O'Melveny & Myers.

She has published articles dealing with liquor store over concentration in urban areas, the use of religious institutions for homeless shelters, conflict between local governmental units over commercial land use decisions that impact surrounding communities, eminent domain, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, sex offender property disclosures and residency restrictions, water law, and zoning conflicts with First Amendment rights. Professor Saxer is a co-author of Contemporary Property, American Casebook Series, Thomson West (5th ed. with Colleen Medill, Grant S. Nelson, and Dale A. Whitman) and a co-author of Land Use, American Casebook Series, Thomson West (7th ed. with David L. Callies and Robert H. Freilich). She is co-author of Social-Ecological Resilience and Sustainability, Aspen Coursebook series, Wolters Kluwer (with Jonathan Rosenbloom).

Since joining the Pepperdine faculty in 1991, she has taught courses in real property, land use, community property, remedies, environmental law, water law, negotiation, and social-ecological resilience and sustainability. Professor Saxer served as the Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Executive Committee member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Property Section between 2009 and 2012. She was on the Board of Directors for the Association for Law, Property, and Society (ALPS) in 2013 and 2014 and was the Program Committee Co-Chair for the 2014 ALPS conference held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Professor Saxer is a member of the Order of the Coif, the American Bar Association, and the California State Bar. She has also been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.


  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1989
  • B.S., Pepperdine University, 1980, summa cum laude


Forthcoming Articles

  • Shelley Ross Saxer, Essay on Pueblo Water Rights, W. LEGAL HIST. (Water and Equity and the 100 Anniversary of the Colorado River Compact) (Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, forthcoming 2023) 
  • Shelley Ross Saxer, Owning Church Property (forthcoming 2024) 



Forthcoming Book Chapters

  • Shelley Ross Saxer, Property and Zoning Law, in THE LAW OF FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES (Gregory S. Parks ed., Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2023) 

Book Chapters

Popular Press



  • Land Use 
  • Property
  • Environmental Law
  • Social-Ecological Resilience and Sustainability
  • Negotiation
  • Water Law